Metal Movie Moments: Heavy Metal

Posted by jessepac on Friday, May 13, 2011 at 10:05 AM (PST)

Some of the best music from the world of metal has influenced some of the best movies ever made. From the classics to the most brutal new additions in the metal cinematic pantheon, Metal Riot is here to suggest some of the best movies that feature metal, are about metal musicians, or feature a metal moment. Going beyond just the soundtrack, we hope to show you selections from the metal movie library that every metal fan needs to see. Metalheads love movies too, so let’s take a look at some Metal Movie Moments!

After last week’s brutal documentary Until The Light Takes Us, let’s switch gears to something a little more lighthearted, like a space-romp that includes dozens of topless women, graphic cartoon violence, and one of the best soundtracks to come out of the 80’s. If you haven’t guessed it yet, click here to read all about the music, the movie, and the magazine that changed metal and movies forever.

“A trip beyond the future to a universe you’ve never seen before. A universe of mystery. A universe of passion and fantasies. A universe of terrifying evil. A universe of magic: Heavy Metal.”

In 1981, Canada exported their greatest metal gift since Anvil in the form of the film Heavy Metal. Blending fantasy with hard rock, the animated feature took the animation genre to an entire new place, a place yet to be reached again. It paved the way for a majority of Western “anime” and countless fantasy films, both live action and not, with films like Alien and Avatar taking cues from the classic. Multiple stories are told within 90 minutes, beginning with an astronaut’s discovery (a floating green orb) melting faces and forcing a young girl to bear witness to some insane dystopian drama.

This movie is not for kids or the faint of heart. The animation and violence is timid by today’s standards, but there are more boobs than a strip club and enough violence to make the kids from South Park blush. In fact, they did a nice tribute to the movie in the episode “Major Boobage” putting Kenny inside the twisted world of Heavy Metal. The cast is awesome, too, with Eugene Levy, Harold Ramis, and the uber-metal John Candy giving some great performances. The film goes beyond the shock value of Ralph Bakshi’s work (Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic, Cool World) into a fully fleshed-out universe.

The most metal thing about this movie, beyond its fantastic collection of fantasy stories, is the amazing soundtrack. Sure, names like Sammy Hagar and Devo might not get your stud-wearing black metal friend excited, but in 1981, having those guys and bands like Black Sabbath, Nazareth, Blue Oyster Cult, and Cheap Trick made for the best collection of what-was-then metal a kid could ever ask for.

The movie has a rich history in the comic magazine of the same name, and Heavy Metal continues to be published to this day, giving adults the graphic fantasy illustrations they so desperately crave. The stories range from the brilliant to the obscene, but the high level of illustration and artistic detail is unparalleled. While the film of the same name hasn’t aged as well as other animated features, the soul of the film is as heavy as it ever was and still stands head-and-shoulders above any heavy metal animated film.

Most Metal Moment: The badass fight scenes with Taarna, the Amazonian warrior, against the barbarian leader equipped with a spinning blade instead of a hand. Blood, boobs, and battlecries!

Check out the official trailer and add it to your Netflix queue!


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